Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rainforest: The Limit of Splendour



Sigh. Another instance of incomprehensible stupidity going on in my corner of the world, kids. Last night I watched the STUNNING documentary: Rainforest: The Limit of Splendour, by Richard Boyce, who grew up playing among the old growth forests that used to be here in my neck  of the woods. (They're even clear-cutting the parks now.)


His film documents the rapidly vanishing rainforest on Vancouver Island, alternating  a Kwakwaka'Wakw clan chief's teachings about how his people revered the trees ("They are alive, like us"), with frames of present-day clearcuts, which now cover most of the Island. 


B.C. government-speak would have us believe we have "the most modern and sustainable logging practices in the world". The reality: hillsides laid waste, right down to the waterline, and tons of wasted wood left behind across the moonscape of the bald, bare hills.


Boyce traveled to film one last remaining pristine wilderness of thousand year old forest. As he reverently paddles his kayak along a river, we see the amazing beauty and magic of an ancient ecosystem, while the chief explains: "These trees are here for a reason." Yes, they are, but when money becomes the be-all and end-all, they haven't got a chance. Which ultimately threatens our survival, since we need to breathe, and have some protection from the sun's heat.. 


At best, tree planting produces a skinny monoculture that is not a viable ecosystem. And  to compound the waste, these huge giants are being pulped for toilet paper, are even shipped away, so there is not even local employment as a result. Even loggers are losing their jobs - not to environmentalists, but to mechanization. Duh!


Truly sustainable logging can be economically sound, as Merv Wilkinson, who died recently, has been proving on the Island for decades. You take some trees, but selectively, and leave a viable growing forest. You do not lay waste in all directions.


Boyce films from a plane the clearcuts marching steadily towards this one last stand of old-growth. Horrifying.


The film closes with a staggering statistic: At the current rate, Vancouver Island's rainforest will be extinct in fifteen years.


 I was there on the blockades in '93. Some of us have been saying this for years, since the '70's. The big trucks just keep hauling them out. Where I live, I can go down any street at any hour, and I will see a loaded truck. Money Now is  more important to the multinationals than humanity's long-term survival. And the government keeps selling the huge tracts off.


I keep thinking of the Chief's words: "The trees are alive, like us." I can feel their broken hearts in my own chest.

5 comments:

  1. Oh Sherry,
    this is heart breaking! I think it hurts God too, when man greedily destroys his creation! Maybe everyone should plan to see Dr. Seuss's The Lorax?:)

    on a personal note...I will post the Peanut-butter Balls Recipe on my Janet's Journal blog, hopefully today.(at least this week) If you send me your date-ball recipe(sounds yummy, I love dates) I could post it as well. that is why I began Janet's Journal...a place to post anything I please!

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  2. Write to the powers that be and join eco-groups. Boycott products. Take activism further!

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  3. @ Chris — I'm sure if anyone participates in eco-groups and writing to the powers-that-be it would be Sherry, so you're preaching to the choir.
    But you're right, everyone should protest, and boycott. I love Vancouver Island and I cried when I read what Sherry has to say here. I couldn't look at the video.
    K

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  4. Sherry,
    So glad you shared! It is haunting what they are doing~ We were effected a couple of years ago. I still can't get over how horrible it is. I agree they are alive and deserve the right to be here. They have their place here and do so much to help us. I don't understand greed~

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  5. I had not realized Vancouver had rain forests; and so sad that what they are doing will destroy it in 15 years!!! May someone gain some sense soon.

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